Plane crash. Officials looking into the cause of that Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport this weekend say that Flight 214 was traveling too low and too slow it approached the airport.
The investigation is in its early stages, but FAA officials say they’ve already determined that the Boeing 777 was flying far below its intended landing speed and nearly stalled as it came upon the runway at SFO. The crew tried to abort the landing at the last moment but the plane hit a sea wall and slammed into the runway.
The two 16-year-old Chinese girls who died in the crash were among a group of about 35 Chinese students from the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan were supposed to arrive today at West Valley Christian Church for a three-week summer camp. One of the girls appears to have been run over by an emergency vehicle responding to the crash.
Officials and parishioners at the West Hills church held a somber service yesterday dedicated to the victims. The church has launched a fundraising drive to help replace the surviving teens’ belongings. Linjia and Mengyuan were the only people killed in the crash, but more than 180 people were injured. KNBC, L.A. Times
Fireworks disaster. The Ventura County Fire Department says it has finished collecting evidence at the scene of a Simi Valley 4th of July fireworks show that went awry – injuring more than 30 people with shrapnel and flaming debris. Investigators initially said one the fireworks appears to have detonated inside its mortar, upending a wooden platform that was holding other launching devices. But they now say they need more evidence to determine if that’s what caused the pyrotechnics to shoot into the crowd. The company that staged the show – Bay Fireworks – has issued a written apology but has not otherwise made any public comment. KABC
Prisoner protest. A group of inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison is vowing to start a hunger strike today to protest what they call “inhumane” conditions at the high-security lockup in Northern California. A primary complaint is that many prisoners inside of Pelican Bay’s Secure Housing Unite – or SHU – are kept in long-term solitary confinement and let out of their cells for only a few hours a week. There have been other hunger strikes at Pelican Bay, most recently in 2011. That hunger strike spread to other California prisons and involved thousands of inmates. Prisoner Strike Solidarity
Roadblock. Can a campaign to “Buy American” go too far? Some Riverside County officials say so. They’re concerned requirements in a federal transportation bill approved by congress last year could slow down road projects like the planned expansion of the 91 Freeway. The law requires all indirect contracts related to highway projects go to American firms, including such things as the removal of gas pipelines and electrical lines. But local utilities who are responsible for the work say they can’t rely entirely on American suppliers. Riverside Press Enterprise
Mission discovery. Church officials have rediscovered a 200-year-old painting at Mission San Juan Capistrano that was covered over decades ago. The 12 foot-high-by-six-and-a-half-foot wide artwork depicts Jesus’ suffering and death. It was painted in 1800 by a Spanish missionary. The painting was among 12 that stood in the Mission’s Stations of the Cross. It was covered up in the 1970s when church officials decided the deteriorating work would be too difficult to restore. The L.A. Times reports the painting was forgotten until it was rediscovered during a recent restoration. A benefactor donated money to remove the modern painting that had been placed over the older work. L.A. Times